Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Geography 3 testing struggles

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Geography 3 testing struggles

    I feel like I have seen this discussed, but when I searched I could not find it. My daughter did just fine on tests 1-3 in Geography 3. All the questions came from the workbook exercises. Test 4 caused great anxiety because 4 of the 10 fill in the blanks and 1 of the 3 short answers did not come from the workbook. She had no idea how to answer them because she had not studied them. The answers were found in the text, but the questions (or even similar questions) had not been asked in the workbook.
    I am going on the assumption that there is a formatting error in the teacher guide and that an old test was accidently included- maybe a test the teacher in the class used when she lectured about different things than are included in the workbook. The other possibility (which I doubt) is that the student is suddenly supposed to know that they need to read the text and take notes on all sorts of different facts beyond what is asked in the student guide and then study all those notes and be ready to answer any fact on the test. That does not seem to be MP's typical MO so I am guessing it was simply a mistake in the test. Does anyone know if subsequent tests also have this issue of asking questions that were not prompted in the student guide? I think in the future, I will look over the test before she reads the material and add any questions needed to the student guide so she will know what to study for the test. How have others who have completed this course handled this issue? Is MP already aware of this issue? Thanks.
    Debbie- mom of 7, civil engineering grad, married to mechanical engineer
    DD, 27, BFA '17 graphic design and illustration
    DS, 25, BS '18 mechanical engineering
    DS, 23, BS '20 Chemsitry, pursuing phd at Wash U
    (DDIL married #3 in 2020, MPOA grad, BA '20 philosophy, pusrsing phd at SLU)
    DS, 21, Physics and math major
    DD, 18, dyslexic, 12th grade dual enrolled
    DS, 14, future engineer/scientist/ world conquerer 9th MPOA diploma student
    DD, 8 , 2nd Future astronaut, robot building space artist

    #2
    Re: Geography 3 testing struggles

    Hi Debbie,

    I am certain that Michael or Tanya will be here to answer specifically about the version of the test you are referring to. If does sound like you are dealing with a situation where the workbook and the test questions have a mismatch. Frustrating.

    I do tend to help my kid review for tests by browsing the review lesson/workbook, and I am sure you do, too. For now, though, until you can get a resolution, I'd recommend using Laura Berquist's method of test taking. On test day, have the student take the test in pencil. Do her best. Then for questions she just couldn't answer, have her look up the answers in the text (research!) and write them onto the test in blue pen. If she wants to change her answers, do it in blue pen. I believe Laura also suggests noting the page number of the location of the answer for those questions answered in pen. When you tally the score, give her full credit for pencil answers, but half credit for pen answers. Mathematically, that helps spread the point load, while helping the student's confidence. It allows the student not to freak out if she encounters a question she knows she will have to look up, but also encourages her to answer in pencil if she can, so she can received full credit rather than half.

    I am certain Michael will provide an answer soon, but this would be a strategy I would use if it were me.



    Jen
    DS, 28 yrs, graduated from MIT (Aerospace)

    DS, 26 yrs, graduated from SIU's School of Business, ENGAGED!

    DD, 23 yrs, graduated from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC; 2nd grade teacher.

    DS, 13 yrs, 9th grade; attends a private classical school, 7th - 12th.

    All homeschooled for some/all of their K-12 education.

    Me: retired after 16 years of continuous homeschooling, now a high school chemistry teacher at a large Catholic high school

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Geography 3 testing struggles

      Originally posted by momgineer View Post
      I feel like I have seen this discussed, but when I searched I could not find it. My daughter did just fine on tests 1-3 in Geography 3. All the questions came from the workbook exercises. Test 4 caused great anxiety because 4 of the 10 fill in the blanks and 1 of the 3 short answers did not come from the workbook. She had no idea how to answer them because she had not studied them. The answers were found in the text, but the questions (or even similar questions) had not been asked in the workbook.
      I am going on the assumption that there is a formatting error in the teacher guide and that an old test was accidently included- maybe a test the teacher in the class used when she lectured about different things than are included in the workbook. The other possibility (which I doubt) is that the student is suddenly supposed to know that they need to read the text and take notes on all sorts of different facts beyond what is asked in the student guide and then study all those notes and be ready to answer any fact on the test. That does not seem to be MP's typical MO so I am guessing it was simply a mistake in the test. Does anyone know if subsequent tests also have this issue of asking questions that were not prompted in the student guide? I think in the future, I will look over the test before she reads the material and add any questions needed to the student guide so she will know what to study for the test. How have others who have completed this course handled this issue? Is MP already aware of this issue? Thanks.
      Good morning,

      There is no formatting error. In 7th and 8th grade, for which Geography III is designed, we are beginning the transition to high-school level work. One skill students will need is to be able to study a passage without necessarily being given a list of questions to answer, memorize said answers, and then repeat those answers on a test. This is a gradual process, which is why most of the questions on Test 4 do come directly from the Workbook, but not all. This pattern will continue on future tests in Geography III.

      It sounds like this transition caught you by surprise. To help you and others, we'd be happy to compile a list of which questions come directly from the Text as opposed to the Workbook. We'd also be happy to make this available to you once it's ready (probably the week after Thanksgiving), and we'll add it to future reprints. Thank you for helping future users of this program!

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Geography 3 testing struggles

        Originally posted by Michael View Post
        Good morning,

        To help you and others, we'd be happy to compile a list of which questions come directly from the Text as opposed to the Workbook. We'd also be happy to make this available to you once it's ready (probably the week after Thanksgiving), and we'll add it to future reprints. Thank you for helping future users of this program!
        This would be very helpful to have in the Teacher's guide!



        My ds is hitting all these learning curves too and I keep telling him that it is ok that it is hard and new that it will help in in high school and twice this year so far he has responded with head in hands "I don't want to grow up"

        I mentioned it in one of the science threads I think but having an essay in the intro similar to the "how to mark a page" essays in the lit guides that show how/why a student transitions to reading and notetaking for things like Geography and Science would be helpful as well for a lot of students. It is one thing my telling my kids but some how if they read it "from an MP teacher" it always carries more weight.
        DD - Graduated!
        DS - core 12 with remediation/support
        DD - core 9 with remediation/support
        DS - core 7 with remediation/support

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Geography 3 testing struggles

          Originally posted by MaggieAnnie View Post
          It is one thing my telling my kids but some how if they read it "from an MP teacher" it always carries more weight.
          Amen, sister. Way more weight.

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Geography 3 testing struggles

            I've let this topic sit awhile while I digested this and as we worked on Chapter 5. I must say, this class is HARD, much harder than I expected from a two day a week geography class. The Iliad is even easier than this class. I am really trying to figure out if this is simply a very hard class and everyone struggles with it, or if my daughter has issues I need to address before high school. She has a mild learning disability but so far, we have been able to deal with it and she is keeping up with grade level work. (She used to be a "grade behind" but now that there are moderated plans, she is right on track.) This class is throwing us off and making me question if she can handle high school level work. My experience with high school with my older four was divided between two doing Kolbe honors and two doing public. The Kolbe honors is way to beyond what this one can handle, and I am honestly not that familiar with the level of work my two public school boys did since they were honors level and did everything pretty much on their own. I don't know how much note taking they had to do verses the teacher giving them study guides. I do know that this class is causing headaches (literally) and I am going to adjust it, but, seriously, if the other high school classes are this hard, I need to reevaluate how I intend to do high school.

            Here are some issues we have and how we are dealing with them. First, the assigned questions do not always come from the assigned reading. Once we figure that out, it was simple enough to tell my daughter that she will have to reread the old readings to find some of the answers. Great- that is an important skill to practice- finding the information in the chapter even if it wasn't in that day's assigned readings. She also had trouble finding answers that were only found in picture captions or side boxes. Again- She just needed to learn that those are important to read too. So that problem is solved. Now, the problems that I have not solved are as follows.

            First- The reading is long and complicated to follow. This girl has a mild reading difficulty, but she is reading Iliad just fine and is able to answer all those questions with very little difficulty. I wouldn't expect this to be harder than Homer! I think part of the issue for her is there is just so much detail and the topics jump around so rapidly, she just has a hard time concentrating on what is what and what is where and who is where and so on. Along this same line, some of the questions are very difficult to answer based on the reading. Just a few, not many. I have decided it is very important to learn to read difficult texts like this and to be able to answer questions that are indirectly answered in the text. Thus, we are going to really focus on this particular skill. She will try to answer as best she can and then we will meet and go over the ones she struggled with and I will help model how to "read between the lines" and get a solid answer. It is my hope, that by the end of the course, she can independently answer all the workbook questions.

            Second- The test is testing over A LOT that is not in the study guide. When I first read Michael's answer above, I freaked out. I always liked MP because it helped the student find what was important to know and guided them along in studying it. I always hated courses that tested over random facts with no guide as to what random facts they needed to know. This really seemed like that was the case here. I mean, how in the world was an 8th grader supposed to read 15 pages where every sentence has some detail and know what details the test writer was going to pull out for the test? I couldn't expect her to memorize the entire text. But I know MP and I know there had to be more to it. As I looked closer, I realized that the questions that do not come from the study guide almost always refer to a word that was bolded in the text. OK. So, if I have her study all the bolded words and the 2-3 sentences associated with each word, she should do ok. But, there are 34 bold words in chapter 5 and each one has multiple details associated with it. That might be fine for a high school junior, but that is way beyond my 8th grader. Honestly, that would have been beyond my advanced honors kids too, even the one who scored a perfect 1600 on his SAT. So, I have a few choices. One is to tell her which bold words to know about, but let her figure out what to know. Or I could simple write more questions into the study guide to help her study more directly. In the end, I think I have decided to simply skip the question part of the test. I know that sound awful. She is working so very hard just to be able to answer the questions and I think trying to get her to discern important facts for the test on her own is way too much, at least for this particular student. I think I have decided to have her focus on learning the map and getting that correct on the test and also to focus on reading for comprehension and being able to answer the study guide questions, even the ones where she has to "read between the lines." I think if she can master those two skills (map labeling and answering hard questions from a difficult text) that she will have gained valuable skills she will need. I think if I try to do too much- such as having her figure out what is important in the text for the test- then she will not have time or energy to master all the skills she needs to do well in the course. Thus, I will focus on the skills I feel are most important for her at this time.

            I guess what I want to hear is that we are not alone. Are others struggling with this too? How are you dealing with it? I am comfortable with my modifications I listed above because I know my daughter and her needs, but should I expect my rising children who are advanced students with no learning difficulties to also struggle or should I expect to have to make modifications for them also? Is this a case where they throw a lot at you and you need to discern what is important to get out of it since each family has different goals? Or are there typical 8th graders out there who are flying through this course with no trouble as it is written?
            Debbie- mom of 7, civil engineering grad, married to mechanical engineer
            DD, 27, BFA '17 graphic design and illustration
            DS, 25, BS '18 mechanical engineering
            DS, 23, BS '20 Chemsitry, pursuing phd at Wash U
            (DDIL married #3 in 2020, MPOA grad, BA '20 philosophy, pusrsing phd at SLU)
            DS, 21, Physics and math major
            DD, 18, dyslexic, 12th grade dual enrolled
            DS, 14, future engineer/scientist/ world conquerer 9th MPOA diploma student
            DD, 8 , 2nd Future astronaut, robot building space artist

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Geography 3 testing struggles

              These are all good questions as I had thought to have my guy do this next year with the extra work for credit. Hmm, I may have to revisit this.
              Katie

              DS 17: Senior!
              DD 14: 10th
              DD 10: 6th
              Twin DD's 8: 3rd
              Mix of MP, Co-op, TAN and traveling the U.S

              Comment


                #8
                Re: Geography 3 testing struggles

                Originally posted by momgineer View Post

                Second- As I looked closer, I realized that the questions that do not come from the study guide almost always refer to a word that was bolded in the text. OK. So, if I have her study all the bolded words and the 2-3 sentences associated with each word, she should do ok. But, there are 34 bold words in chapter 5 and each one has multiple details associated with it. That might be fine for a high school junior, but that is way beyond my 8th grader...One is to tell her which bold words to know about, but let her figure out what to know. Or I could simple write more questions into the study guide to help her study more directly. In the end, I think I have decided to simply skip the question part of the test.

                I guess what I want to hear is that we are not alone. Are others struggling with this too? How are you dealing with it? I am comfortable with my modifications I listed above because I know my daughter and her needs, but should I expect my rising children who are advanced students with no learning difficulties to also struggle or should I expect to have to make modifications for them also? Is this a case where they throw a lot at you and you need to discern what is important to get out of it since each family has different goals? Or are there typical 8th graders out there who are flying through this course with no trouble as it is written?
                My ds has found it to be a surprising amount of work as well considering he has breezed through all the geography books to date. The first few weeks were quite a shock.
                You are not alone in finding it a jump in skill level.

                I think "hints" as to what will be on the test are appropriate. Many of my school teachers gave prep sheets before tests. You know how in the Iliad/Odyssey teacher guides there is the "Questions to mark for test" section in the far right hand column? The one that shows you which questions to have kids mark for test study... We have been doing the same for geography, having ds asterisk which sections to study for future tests... I think a section like this in the next edition teacher geography guide would be helpful. I know in 9th and tenth there has been more and more of this kind of work but since the geo 3 is for 8th having it set up like the others would be helpful.

                I agree it is hard to know when something is hard for a kid because of special needs or when it is just plain hard...and I can't answer for other kids since my ds has learning issues as well but it seems like if those types of hints are in the Literature books perhaps this kind of sussing out skill is hard for many kids to learn...
                DD - Graduated!
                DS - core 12 with remediation/support
                DD - core 9 with remediation/support
                DS - core 7 with remediation/support

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: Geography 3 testing struggles

                  Debbie,

                  I applaud you for knowing your student and for finding a way to make this course work for her while continuing to challenge her. It's interesting to me that she finds the Iliad easier. Is it because it is a story, do you think? We have used this course at HLS in 7th grade for several years now, and I haven't heard of any problems with it. But I don't know how much information the teachers are giving the students before tests. I'm sure they do a thorough review (probably with the test in hand), giving the students the opportunity to highlight things they need to know in their texts in addition to questions and vocabulary they need to know from the study guide. In 7th grade, we are working toward a higher level of independent work, but we haven't totally turned the students loose yet. Another thing we are doing in our classrooms is reading all the text material out loud together and discussing it as we go. The teachers are probably having students take notes on the facts they will need to know for tests as they discuss the chapters. This is the advantage of a classroom of captive students - and a teacher who has the sole responsibility of that one class.

                  That said, we are going to edit the study guide so that it includes all information students will see on the tests. We understand that this is better for the homeschool environment where students are having to work more independently as parents have lots of other things going on. I want you to know that we have heard you, and we are not only listening, but we are also acting on your suggestion.

                  In the meantime, it seems to me that you are doing an excellent job with this course with your particular student, so bravo. I know it isn't fun, and I understand that she is frustrated, but it is also really important that she learn to read and digest informational types of writing that lean more toward facts than stories - even if they are things she isn't interested in. We all have to get through those gen. ed. courses in college. There is no reason you couldn't slow this down though if it is too much information for her to ingest at one time. Maybe a more leisurely pace, focusing on smaller chunks and living with them for awhile before moving forward would build her confidence. I'm thinking rereading smaller portions rather than plowing through the entire thing might help. If you don't get through the entire world, does it really matter? At least she will know lots about the parts you get through!

                  Tanya

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: Geography 3 testing struggles

                    Debbie,

                    I have only had one child who has done this course yet, and he came to it without having had Geography I and II. He did begin to hit snags early on in the year - but we thought it was simply ordering error in the lesson plans and chalked it up to simply having to adjust it ourselves. We had several issues with how assignments were arranged for numerous subjects in that CG, so that is when we used a planner to rewrite his assignments into a format that he preferred for each week. Either that or I figured the order was written by a teacher, who as Tanya described, can handle the class differently than we can at home.

                    So the adjustment we made were two: he simply read the book in order and answered the questions as he could find them; and then we significantly cut down the amount of mapping he needed to do - limiting it the countries I considered most fundamental for moving forward. There was simply not enough time to treat it all with equal emphasis.

                    Thank you for posting your comments, as I have another student who will need to do it next year and it was helpful to hear your experience with it. I was not expecting to have to adjust it at all because this child has had Geography I and II, but I will try to keep a closer eye on it with her.

                    AMDG,
                    Sarah
                    2020-2021
                    16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
                    DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
                    DS, 17
                    DD, 15
                    DD, 13
                    DD, 11
                    DD, 9
                    DD, 7
                    +DS+
                    DS, 2

                    Comment

                    Working...
                    X